Director: Hilary Henson
A look at what part robots play in the world today (as of 1979) and what research into robot technology is likely to produce in the future. Present day robots are used in industry to perform a wide range of tasks considered unsuitable for people because they are dangerous, dirty or monotonous. They are still fairly simple, with primitive brains, but recent research into robot technology could make them far more flexible.
Akin to the Asimov documentary, this film has a fascinating historical value in indicating how technological expectations and achievements in computing and robotics have radically changed over the last 20 or so years. This is an intelligent insight into the societal implications of robotics and automation, as well as a good overview of some of the more bizarre experiments in robot design, such as WABOT and the Walking Truck!
Also included in the screening programme are digital robot animations by Australian new media practitioners Ian Haig and Peter Hennessey.